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Water vapor transport for summer precipitation over the Tibetan Plateau: Multidata set analysis

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Abstract

[1] The atmospheric water vapor transport for summer precipitation over the southeastern Tibetan Plateau (hereafter TP) during 1979–2002 is examined by using five precipitation data sets and three reanalysis data sets. The multidata ensemble mean shows that under climate mean conditions, TP is a moisture sink in summer, having a net moisture convergence of 4 mm/day. The climatological water vapor transport from the southern boundary, which originates from the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal, dominates the summer precipitation over the southeastern TP. It is estimated that the water vapor from the western boundary along the southern edge of the TP is about 32% of that from the southern boundary. The summer precipitation over the southeastern TP exhibits strong interannual variability, with a standard deviation of 1.3 mm/day, but no significant long-term trend. The water vapor transport for the interannual variability of summer rainfall over the southeastern TP mainly comes from the western boundary of the TP, which is originally from lower latitudes. An excessive rainfall anomaly of 1 mm/day over the southeastern TP is associated with an anomalous water vapor input of 138 (104) kg/m/s from the western (southern) boundary. It is worth noting that the quantitative analysis in this study is determined by the setting of the domain. The interannual variability of summer precipitation over the southeastern TP is dominated by an anomalous anticyclone over the northern Indian subcontinent and the Bay of Bengal, which intensifies the water vapor transport along the southern edge of the TP and leads to more water vapor convergence over the southeastern TP, thus the excessive rainfall in the area.

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